The Wildwoods’ ‘Second Season’ features major events and festivals

Published on : Friday, August 19, 2016

WildwoodsThe summer vacation season may be winding down, but the Wildwoods are gearing up for major events and festivals every weekend this fall. The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) works hard to ensure that crowds both near and far keep coming back to the Wildwoods throughout the fall season – also referred to as the ‘Wildwoods Second Season.’



One of the mandates of the GWTIDA when it was first formed in 1993 was to extend the tourism season beyond the traditional Labor Day Weekend. It has successfully created a vibrant Second Season that extends the tourism season through to November with multiple events and festivals scheduled most weekends that attract thousands of visitors to the five-mile island.



The 2016 roster of events includes the return of a motorcycle rally, country music festival, classic car show and auction, and Irish and Italian festivals in September; surf fishing tournaments, a seafood festival and a Fabulous ‘50s music event in October; and cheerleaders for two major competitions at the Wildwoods Convention Center in November. GWTIDA promotes fall events as a means of filling its hotel rooms and restaurants during what would otherwise be a slower tourism season.



“Although many shore towns take a break as the temperatures cool, the Wildwoods still remain a lively place,” said John Siciliano, executive director/CFO of GWTIDA. “Hosting special events and themed weekends has been a proven method to bring business to our local hotels, restaurants and boardwalk during the fall months,” he added.



The Wildwoods’ ‘Second Season’ begins right after Labor Day Weekend and extends through November. Here are some of the events happening in the Wildwoods this fall:


September 2016


September 8 – 11 Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally


‘Second Season’ in the Wildwoods kicks off this year in September after Labor Day with the Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally, one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the northeast, starting Thursday, September 8 through Sunday, September 11. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Enjoy motorcycle vendors, food and merchandise, live entertainment and more activities surrounding the Wildwoods Convention Center and at Oak and Atlantic Avenues.



NEW! September 9 – 10 Waves and Wheels Festival


This NEW family-friendly event will be held along Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood on Friday, September 9 from 3 – 9 p.m. and on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. It’s a festival dedicated to all outdoor activities at the Jersey Shore…on the ocean, in the sand, and over the land! Food trucks, refreshments, reggae music and modern surf rock bands will be featured all weekend, including performances by Jah Works, Predator Dub Assassins, and The Dave Matthews Tribute Band. Vendors from dozens of surf and skate shops in the area will offer discounted merchandise, as well as vendors featuring outdoor activities such as surfing, skateboarding, SUP, kayaking, fishing, biking, running, and boating.



September 15 – 17 Annual New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention


The Annual New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention takes place from Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17, attracting thousands of firemen and their families to the five-mile island for meetings, seminars, exhibits and other events. Firetrucks from around the state will be displayed in the Wildwoods Convention Center parking lots and merchandise vendors can be found across the street at Fox Park. The American Red Cross will host a Blood Drive on Friday, September 16 from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. inside the Wildwoods Convention Center. Also on Friday is a special fireworks display to light up the sky one more time for the season, launching at 9 p.m. on the beach at Pine Avenue. On Saturday, September 17, a parade will begin at 2 p.m. on New Jersey Avenue from Cresse Avenue in Wildwood Crest, proceeding north to 20th Avenue in North Wildwood.



September 16 – 17 ‘Boots at the Beach’ Country Music Fest


The festival will be held at the North Wildwood Entertainment District along Olde New Jersey Avenue, featuring country music, vendors, crafts and food from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Admission is FREE. Friday night’s ‘Bar Hoodang’ will feature country bands and DJ’s in all bars in the North Wildwood Entertainment District. On Saturday, Olde New Jersey Avenue comes alive with sights and sounds of a country fair with vendors lining the street selling clothing, wares and all things country! Refreshments, food and live country music on an outdoor stage will take place all day long into the night.



September 22 – 25 Boardwalk Classic Car Show and Classic Car Auction


Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, is fit for classic car enthusiasts. The Boardwalk Classic Car Show and Classic Car Auction will be held on the Wildwoods Boardwalk and at the Wildwoods Convention Center with FREE admission. The Classic Car Auction begins on Thursday, September 22 with a preview at 5 p.m. An auction will take place on Friday, September 23 from 6 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. The Boardwalk Classic Car Show is from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. Sunday, September 25 will feature an awards ceremony inside the Wildwoods Convention Center from 9 – 11:30 a.m. where prizes will be awarded to the Top 20 cars as well as Best in Show.



September 22 – 25 The Wildwoods’ Irish Fall Festival


The Wildwoods’ Irish Fall Festival – the largest Irish festival on the East Coast, will take place on Olde New Jersey Avenue and surrounding pubs in North Wildwood – celebrating Irish heritage with dancing, music, food and craft vendors. Bus service available throughout the event dates. Other festivities include a golf tournament, concert, Irish dance lessons, 5K run and one-mile walk, pipe exhibition, and Catholic mass. The events conclude with a parade on Surf Avenue from 20th to Spruce and Olde New Jersey Avenues, North Wildwood. Events take place Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.



September 24 – Sunset Lake Seafarers’ Celebration


Saturday, September 24 will feature a festival along beautiful Sunset Lake at New Jersey Avenue between Rambler Road and Miami Avenue in Wildwood Crest. This family-friendly event will include dozens of craft and food vendors, family entertainment, and live music, plus children’s activities including bounce houses, karaoke, stunt bike show, face painting, magic show, pie-eating and bubble gum blowing contests, and more from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free.



September 30 – October 1 Olde Time Italian Festival


Celebrate Italian culture and heritage with the Olde Time Italian Festival at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. Come experience an ‘Olde World’ family festival including a procession, crafts, games, delicious Italian food favorites, and continuous FREE live entertainment. A grape stomping contest and spaghetti-eating contest will take place as well. Events take place Friday, September 30 from 5 – 11 p.m. and Saturday, October 1 from noon – 11 p.m. Admission to the festival is free.



October 2016


October 8 – Seafood & Music Festival


The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce will host a FREE street fair on Saturday, October 8 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues in Wildwood. The festival will feature two stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, games, a pie eating contest and much more. A “Kids Korner” with activities including pumpkin painting, face painting and bounce houses will take place from noon – 5 p.m.



October 14 – 15 Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Weekend


The ‘Second Season’ excitement extends into October as the Wildwoods celebrate their Doo Wop roots with the Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Weekend on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15. Friday, October 14 night features a Nifty ‘50s Dance Party at the Wildwoods Convention Center with The Cameos from 7 – 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. A FREE street fair will take place at Fox Park in Wildwood on Saturday, October 15 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. featuring classic cars, food and craft vendors, a Doo Wop Bus Tour, and live entertainment. Saturday night’s concert in the Wildwoods Convention Center will feature Bobby Rydell, Little Anthony & The Imperials, and Shirley Alston Reeves. Tickets are $49.50 for stadium seating or $65.50 for floor seating and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at or at the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce (3306 Pacific Avenue). Doors open at 5:30 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m.



October 22 – Wildwoods Boardwalk Pumpkin Run


The Wildwoods Boardwalk Pumpkin Run is a ghoulishly fun and exciting family event for all ages. This festive boardwalk event offers a 5K run along with a one-mile family walk, starting at 10 a.m. – rain or shine. Registration begins at 9 a.m. inside the Wildwoods Convention Center; $25 for adults and $10 for those 18 and under. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes to vie for prizes in the best-dressed categories of Family, Youth, Infant, and Best All Around. All proceeds benefit the Elementary Schools of the Wildwoods. All participants will receive a Pumpkin Run t-shirt.



October 30 – Island Pumpkin Fest


The Annual Island Pumpkin Fest will be held at Fox Park and on the Wildwoods Beach from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. The festival will feature craft and food vendors, a bounce house, costume contest and parade (judging from noon – 1 p.m.), and FREE live entertainment at Fox Park, located directly across from the Wildwoods Convention Center. A hay ride will start on the beach at Andrews Avenue and go to the Great Pumpkin Patch on the beach behind the Wildwoods Convention Center. Hay rides are $7 for children and $3 for parents. The festival will also feature Zombie Monster Truck Rides on the beach and over 40 Farm Tractors along Atlantic Avenue.



November 2016


November 6 & November 20 – Cheerleading Competitions


In November, the Wildwoods will host two cheerleading competitions inside the Wildwoods Convention Center: the Cheer Tech Island Championships on Sunday, November 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. featuring teams from around the region competing in recreation, school, college, open and all-star divisions; and the Cheer Tech American Rec & School Championships held on Sunday, November 20 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. All teams will perform action-packed two and a half minute routines featuring stunts, jumps, gymnastics and dance segments choreographed to music. Athletes will compete on a ’54 by ’42 spring floor and will be scored by a judging panel to determine the first place winners.

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